Dan got so stuck, he disabled comments on a thread.

     Alex had posted three questions that Dan kept dodging:  “how can you be certain a revelation is genuine when you lack the ability to know anything ‘for certain’ (by your own argument) before said revelation?” “how is your god not illogical when he displays traits which are mutually exclusive?” and “do you accept that a being of sufficient power could fool you into thinking you’d had a revelation from your particular version of your particular god?”  To date, Dan has only given cop-outs on these, and he has blocked further comments — presumably so that he cannot be reminded of the way he failed to answer.

     I would like to address his cop-outs, because otherwise some might claim he answered.  To the first question, he claims that his god “revealed himself” to all mankind “in such a way that we can be certain.”  This is quite evidently false.  He has not revealed himself to me in any manner — let alone one in which I could be sure the revelation was not a lie.  In order for us to have a meaningful certitude, we must have a means of assessing the veracity of the revelation prior to the revelation itself.  To the second question, Dan claims that the mutually-exclusive traits assigned to his god are not mutually-exclusive.  These traits include being omnibenevolent (i.e. not willing any harm to come to anyone) and willing willing the day-to-day harms that each of us experience (nothing can occur not according to his will.)  These are mutually exclusive.  To the third, he gives the cop-out that Alex does not understand the definition of “omnipotent, omniscient, and omnibenevolent.”  Dan refuses to acknowledge that the question does not suppose such a being exists.  The question is (assuming there is no omnipotent omniscient omnibenevolent being to prevent it) could a sufficiently empowered liar get Dan (or anyone else in particular) to believe the liar to have these qualities that he does not, in fact, have?  The answer is a simple “yes,” unless Dan can show a means of immunity to deception that does not rely on the being whose honesty is in question.

     I would also like to make a note here.  Fundamentalist christians wish that dissenters would shut up.  Most of them forcibly silence dissenters where they have the power to do so.  But the blanket silencing that they so desire is beyond their power.  It is quite clear that no omnipotent being desires that you not read this.  If any omnipotent being had such a desire, he would make it so.  If there is an omnipotent being, he doesn’t care.


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